Useful links

Trading Standards Scotland

Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) is the national team for trading standards in Scotland. The team is funded by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and managed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA); the representative body of local government in Scotland.

Which? Consumer Rights

With over 50 years experience - Which? has your consumer interests at heart. They campaign to protect your consumer rights, review products and offer independent advice on a wealth of subjects.

Financial Ombudsman Service

Nine out of ten people say they have no complaints about their bank, insurer or finance firm. And most financial transactions take place without any problems.

But sometimes things go wrong. And when they do, and a customer isn’t happy, it’s up to the business to try and sort it out. The business must be given the chance to look into a problem – and they have eight weeks to do it.

If the customer still isn’t satisfied, they can go to the Financial Ombudsman. They'll listen to both sides of the story. And they’ll be honest. They give advice or make decisions based on the facts that they see.

Ombudsman Services was founded in 2002 to provide independent dispute resolution. They provide an independent, impartial and cost effective means of resolving disputes outside the courts.

They are experts in dispute resolution and are there to sort out complaints about the companies which have joined them.

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK.

They regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate.

They make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive.

A free and impartial government service about your defined contribution pension options.

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is there to give people professional, independent and impartial help with their pensions – for free.

Pensions can change people’s lives. Most of us would like to be able to choose to stop work one day and choose how we live when we do. A good pension is a good way to achieve that. Their vision is a future where people are empowered to make the most of their pensions.

Epic 360

EPIC 360 is a lottery-funded financial capability project working across Glasgow. It’s for people who recognise the phrase “more month than money” when thinking about their finances. They work across Glasgow, holding personal conversations, over 1, 2, 3, 4,5 or 6 sessions. These can cover budgeting, spending, saving, credit, debt, well-being, and financial products and services.

Council Tax Advisors CIC

Are you having problems with council tax payments?  You should speak to Council Tax Advisors CIC, which is a specialist not for profit organisation providing free impartial advice and mediation to citizens facing Sheriff Enforcement action from council related debts across Scotland.

 

On a daily basis they support Scots from all walks of life, get their lives back on track, by negotiating affordable, sustainable payment plans with their free client mediation service.  Council tax advisors CIC can be contacted by phone on 0141 536 0184, or by requesting a call back on www.counciltaxadvisors.co.uk/scotland.

Information and opportunities for young people in Scotland

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity. We provide young people, aged 11 - 26, with a mixture of information, ideas and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens. We do this in a variety of formats, including online, social, apps, magazines, and phone, etc, so young people can access information in a way they are comfortable with. Call 0808 801 0338

Student Loans Company

Student Loans Company is a non-profit making, government-owned, organisation set up in 1989 to provide loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK.

An agency of the Scottish Government giving financial support to all eligible students doing a course of higher education in the UK.

StepChange

They are an independent charity dedicated to overcoming problem debt, and provide free and impartial help to people all over Scotland.

Last year they helped over 13,000 Scots choose the best debt solution for their individual debt problem.

The StepChange Debt Charity Helpline is 0800 138 1111.  It’s free, and open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.

Free and anonymous advice is also available online, with StepChange Debt Remedy, and takes just 20 minutes.

Citizens Advice Direct deal with over 400,000 Scottish citizens every year by phone, email, online and social media. Their service is Scotland wide, and they are named as one of the main national providers of telephone advice across Scotland in The Improvement Service’s ‘Money advice services across Scotland’s local authorities’ report.

They are a member organisation of Citizens Advice Scotland but are funded by the Scottish Government with a national rather than a local remit.

All calls to their lines are free from mobiles and landlines, and they are open from 9.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday, and between 10.00am and 2.00pm on Saturdays.

Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland has 61 bureaux countrywide and together with their consumer helpline forms Scotland’s largest independent advice network. Citizen advice bureaux help hundreds of thousands of people deal with a range of issues, including money, benefits, housing, and legal. They provide free, confidential and impartial advice to everybody regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation. Citizens advice bureaux offer a comprehensive range of options for dealing with money problems and holistic advice on any other issues that a person might be facing.

National Debtline

National Debtline provides free, confidential and independent advice for people with debt problems in Scotland, England and Wales. They give expert help via phone, email and in writing or can send you a free information pack. The National Debtline website includes a fully interactive online advice tool called “My Money Steps” which is available for use 24/7. 

CAP (Christians Against Poverty)

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has 20 Debt Centres set up in local communities all across Scotland.  They also run free money management courses that teach basic budgeting skills and how to prevent debt.

Throughout the UK, CAP have been recognised for helping over 27,500 people a year to find a way out of debt through their renown services.  Over 10,000 people a year also benefited from attending a free CAP Money Course.

However bad your debts are, there is hope.  CAP's professional and friendly approach means they can visit you in your own home and give you a solution that will see you out of debt.  They will negotiate with your creditors, set up a budget and then support you to either repay your debt through a debt management plan or help you apply for DAS, Sequestration or Trust Deed.

For help with your debts, or to attend a free money management course, just enter your postcode on their website to see what CAP services are available in your area.

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation, set up by the UK government. They provide free, independent and unbiased money advice to build on people’s knowledge and understanding of money matters and to improve people’s ability to manage their money well. Their free and impartial money advice is available online, over the phone (0300 500 5000) and by web-chat, in printed guides, and face-to-face through a UK-wide network of Money Advisers. They have over 500 resources including articles and interactive tools such as the Budget planner and Cut back calculator for you to use. Subjects range from everyday budgeting to savings, buying a car, insurance, pensions, mortgages and investments.  They also work with partners to make debt advice easier and quicker to access and to improve standards and quality across the sector.  They are a major funder of free face-to-face debt advice across the UK.

scotcash

Scotland has a Community Development Finance Institution offering personal loans to individuals living with a 25 mile radius of Glasgow, trading under the name Scotcash.

Scotcash was set up to provide a gateway to a wide range of products for those who struggle to obtain access to mainstream financial services. They offer affordable credit at lower interest rates than those given by most high street lenders. One of Scotcash’s main objectives is to provide more affordable loans to low income families while providing additional money management advice.

Scotcash works in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays to give access to bank accounts for those who may have difficulty obtaining such a facility. They also provide support with setting up direct debits, advice on debt and information on the benefits of saving in the longer term through their local credit union partners.

During 2013/14, over 4,000 people approached Scotcash for advice on their finances. Scotcash approved 1,792 loans totalling £866,705, saving the public almost £359,238 in like-for-like interest payments.

Find out more by going to the Scotcash website or calling 0141 276 0525.

Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness - and campaign to prevent it in the first place. 

Their advice services are delivered across Scotland through National services such as the Shelter Scotland Helpline and also locally from their Community Based Hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Shelter Scotland provides free, impartial, expert and confidential advice in a variety of ways: online, face to face advocacy and casework and through their dedicated national Helpline. They provide advice on a wide range of housing issues such as homelessness, rent and mortgage arrears, evictions, repairs, landlord/tenant disputes, housing benefit and other related housing issues. 

It is recognised that often, housing issues come hand in hand with money worries and or benefits problems and Shelter Scotland have developed dedicated money & debt advice services to address these issues alongside the housing matters.

 

Young Scot

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity. We provide young people, aged 11 - 25, with a mixture of information, ideas and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens.

Our impact is achieved through a variety of activities, including provision of relevant and accessible high quality online and offline information, online and face-to-face engagement and outreach, plus Scotland’s Youth Smartcard – the Young Scot NEC – to access services and opportunities. There are over 580,000 Young Scot cardholders across Scotland.

As a universal service, Young Scot works towards a vision where Scotland’s young people can; make informed decisions to support transitions; enjoy healthy, active positive lifestyles and opportunities; contribute as assets to their communities; reach positive destinations that give them the opportunity to maximise their aspirations; and be celebrated as citizens – locally, nationally and globally

More information is available from www.youngscot.org and www.youngscot.net

Money Advice Scotland is a charity that aims to improve the education, training and qualifications of money advisers, improve the financial health and wellbeing of the public and improve public and social policy. It works towards Scottish people receiving the highest possible standards of service when dealing with their financial health and wellbeing. 

Give them a call or visit their website to discover how to find and contact your nearest money adviser. They also provide the e-learning course that helps people better manage their money and understand more about financial products

 

Business Debtline

Business Debtline provides free, confidential and independent advice to small businesses and self-employed people in Scotland, England and Wales on how to deal with debt and cash flow problems. They provide self-help advice with free information packs and support on appropriate repayment and insolvency options.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

DAS is not bankruptcy, it is a government-run debt management tool which allows someone in debt to repay their debts through a debt payment programme. This programme will allow a debtor to pay off their debts over an extended period of time while giving them protection from their creditors taking action against them to recover the debt. A debt payment programme can last for any reasonable length of time and, if approved, will freeze all interest, fees and charges on the debt included, resulting in them being written off when the programme is completed.

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) is responsible for administering the process of personal bankruptcy and recording corporate insolvencies in Scotland.

Age Scotland

Age Scotland offers a free, confidential generalist advice and information service on a range of topics affecting people in later life. Topics range from benefits, money advice, housing, community care, care homes and legal matters affecting capacity and end of life. Their telephone based service is delivered to Scottish National Standards type 1 only and does not offer casework. They have established referral mechanisms with a number of agencies including Shelter, DWP and Home Energy Scotland.

Advisers are available to answer enquiries from older people, their carers and families Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Phone 0800 4 70 80 90 or contact them by e-mail.